GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic would be considered over only once the active cases drop to under five per 100 000 of the population. The current average for the Garden Route area is still about 60 per 100 000.
According to Garden Route Disaster Management Chief Gerhard Otto, preventing a second wave would depend on the public sticking to the basic hygiene and social distancing measures, even though there is a continued decline in recorded active cases.
In the past week - 29 September to 6 October - 123 new cases have been recorded, bringing the total detected cases in the district to 10 093. The number of active cases has dropped further from 327 to 224. In the same period, five deaths were recorded.
"We must remain cautious. According to the Western Cape Health Department, there is a possibility of a second wave, as experienced in other countries. These were caused by behavioural changes," said Otto.
He said there has been a marked improvement in the Covid-19 figures for Oudtshoorn where steep increases in new cases and a high number of deaths had been a cause for concern for several weeks. In the past week, the town's active cases dropped from 70 to 41.
"I believe our interventions there have turned the situation around. We are currently focusing on Mossel Bay and Kannaland where there has been an increase in active cases. Our strategy is to put out the small fires before they get out of hand."
Forty-one Covid-19 patients are being treated in hospitals in the district, of whom seven are in high care.
Virus testing unit closed
The Virus Testing Unit (VTU) at George Hospital, established to handle coronavirus screening during the peak of the pandemic, closed on Wednesday 30 September. "The unit has been a vital part of the George Regional Hospital's response to Covid-19 since the inception of the lockdown period," said CEO Michael Vonk. The outpatient department will continue to function with reduced patient slots and the day theatre will still be used as a Covid ward.
Screening of the public who visit the hospital is done at Entrance 1 (Emergency Centre Minors / Day Ward entrance - 24-hour screening and access) and Entrance 4 (main entrance - weekdays from 07:00 to 16:00).
Visits to patients will still not be allowed.
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